Miley Cyrus, VMA 2013

Everyone’s got an opinion on this. Everyone is making a deal out of it. Certainly doesn’t hurt Miley’s publicity!

All I can say is… er… I don’t get it. Even as a parody of herself, it was weird. It did nothing musically, the dance neither upset me or made me cheer it on. It was just weird. Youtube is buzzing with celebrities reacting, Will Smith’s family looks thouroughly uncomfortable. I’m just wondering… what was it all about? Thinking parody, her tounge was out too much even for that. It wasn’t a clever or entertaining parody. And why is it racist? I don’t think she tried to be black. I see nothing remotely emoting a parody of that either.

She just seemed high, and the dance was really bad. Again, it wasn’t a parody of a bad dance. It was just bad. I know the VMAs have people making parodies or new career moves left and right. But this? Pop a little pill, go out there and sing and dance badly. That’s what it looked like. Again, she had people talking, I guess she wanted that. But I feel in music, there is always a performance involved. Be it making a slapstick sketch, a parody performance or a very serious one. You don’t just go out there, throw your clothes and do something someone could do in the privacy of their own bathroom shower. That’s what bothered me.

The worst comment came from some flat assed TMZ people. That’s right. They complained about her flat ass, and proceeded to illustrate a “good ass”, Lady Gaga’s. I’m sorry, but since when did they have a right to do reviews of bodies like that? Especially women’s bodies seem to be up for critisism without anyone reacting. It’s normal. We get to review women’s bodies as much as we want for some reason. If it’s flat, you’re not allowed to show it, woman! Insane… Her dance, yes, her singing, yes, her weird tounge as part of her performing, yes, her body? … fuck off… And showing a “good example”? Sickening.

I do wonder though why every female child star feel the need to express womanhood through getting rid of her clothes. You don’t see Justin Timberlake doing that (overtly sexual videos though, but funny enough HE’S fully dressed :P) A grown woman likes clothes. 2-year olds don’t. It’s not a hard concept. Sure, I did some growing up from writing catchy pop songs to what I write now, from 14 to 22. But I went from teenage clothes to personal performance clothes. I’m a nudie, at 28 with Animalic, as a political and arty statement, granted. It’s “I’m wearing live fur” and “I’m curvy and muscly and that’s a good body too”. It’s not “hey, accept that I’m a woman now!”(I accepted that long before with taxes and car insurance ;D) and you won’t find me performing on stage with a thong and two guinea pigs. I’ll probably never do a cover like that again, because it’s not new thinking. I don’t get why the undressing seems to be the mandatory way to show adulthood. It seems quite the opposite. So I don’t get it. I guess I’d have to live in their world for a bit to understand that. Because looking in, it just looks like a crazy “drunk or 2 yrs old” phase… Can at least ONE of them try the JT suit and sexy naked boys in their video, if sexuality is the issue? I’d watch that. You go, girl…

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Gilmore Girls

It’s one of my old fav series. When it started airing in 2000 I was just glued. Not only because the intake of coffee and chocolate rendered me impressed and bowing to the masters. But all the cool pop culture references, new and old, that didn’t treat the viewer like an idiot? So needed at the time (and due to be again)! The last episodes aired in Sweden in 2007 and I got the box set with the complete series in 2008. Around that time (from about 2005, going into higher education an’ all) I submerged myself in music history. Not only feeling it was my duty as an entertainer and that it would improve my music, but simply because I was interested. So when I watched my lovely box I got myself an awesome surprise that I hadn’t thought of the first time around. I already knew that Carole King had taken a great track from her praised 70’s album Tapestry and re-recorded it with Louise Goffin (the woman doing the “la la” backtrack of many of the episodes), “Where you lead”. But I immediately recognized the woman running the music shop. Carole King herself in an acting part in the series! Soooo EPIC! 😀 It’s sort of like your a comic book/marvel nerd and Stan Lee (father of Spiderman, The Hulk and X-men) runs a comic book shop in one of your fav series. Totally awesome!

I am almost finished going through the box set for I think the 4th time. And for every marathon, I’ve gained some new knowledge and get more and more of the references. This time around I actually react and google when I’m not sure, but curious of a reference, so the next time I might get all of them! That is my goal, at least. And it may seem trite, but the series is virtually an encyclopedia of pop culture, so if you get them all, you have gained much knowledge 😉

The soundtrack album alone (Our Little Corner of The World) contains some great music we should all be interested in. And that’s why I’m a Gilmore Girl, and not ashamed!

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Conserts for inspiration

It’s dead important as a performing artist to go see concerts regularly, for inspiration, analyzing and just pure fun and clearing your head.

Of course, concerts cost a lot of the time. It’s well worth investing in your craft and concerts are a good investment, no doubt, but to go regularly if you’re not super rich (creative people usually are though, aren’t they ? ;D) can put a serious dent in your economy. So don’t forget to make some of the free ones. Usually, they’re the ones with the new artists without a breakthrough yet, the city park one’s, the one-day-festivals. The point isn’t always to know the music, in fact, not knowing it beforehand can be even more inspiring! You discover something new and realize someone else is doing the same when it comes to you when you’re out there playing. You just sorta get out there, you know there’s gonna be music either way and if you don’t know the artist beforehand you can also dare to analyze the performance a bit more thorough.

I was at a concert event for Zara Larsson last week (not my type of music, but there was lots of varied music and genres before her), and apart from getting lots of kids hysterically looking at you standing backstage (automatically means you’re a celebrity) I got wind of some new artists I’d love to listen more to. Among them a big suprise. This girl called “Lillemor” (a very old fashioned, cutesy name in Sweden), little blond thing, walked out, talked as cutesy as her name sounded to the audience and I just sighed… til she started performing. The most awesome beatbox I’ve heard for a long time…

I thought I was pretty prejudice less when it comes to music and performance, but Lillemor taught me I have a long way to go 😉 And that’s another reason you need to get out there. To never forget that music can and will always surprise you. Heck, that you can and will surprise people! There are a lot of talented artists out there that just need to push through outward perceptions.

New demo up- Thank me Later

There is a sass in it that I like. Basically it’s about the mistress breaking it of with the “taken” man and just telling him “hey, this is a damn good thing, but thank me later, you twat.” It’s a definite candidate for LFS (Letters from Scarlet) as this is certainly the Scarlet woman leaving a message. It’s supposed to be a duet, so the dark harmony in the chorus is NOT meant to be sung by me, just so you know. I know my range and where it stills sounds good singing lead and this is slightly past it 😉

Lyrics: it’s all so waterproof, nobody told you what to do, you just figured it out on your own- Your breaks could kill in water spill but you figured it out on your own-
Chorus: Please thank me Later, there’s just so much I can take. Te-hee I separate her, and I pay for my mistakes I said a whoa! (You can say what you want, you can say anything, you can say what you want I guess you’re my mistake then)
-It’s all so ultrasafe, nobody goes to waste, did you figure that out on your own?- Black cotton, buns of steel, walk straight in your high heels could’ve figured that out on my own- Chorus – You’ve got your life vest on, jump ship and now you’re gone, go figure – Chorus

There are some live instruments in here, but if recorded it’s gonna be all real, at least that’s what I’m aiming for. Piano, bass, clav, drums, some guitar.

Enjoy!

Cool cover coming soon as well! 🙂

Nailed it

This is not gonna be on of my deep and profound posts, but I do get questions about this. There is a fascination with the musician’s hands. Is it important to have big hands, long fingers, and sometimes I even get the question “what about nails”?

I can’t speak for everyone when I talk about when they get in the way. Different instruments require different manicures. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a “pic pinky”. It’s pretty special, and you’ll find it on the occasional guitarist. They let the nail on their pinky grow obscenely long, almost like a claw, so that it works like a pic when they play guitar. Personally, I’ve seen a few, and while I love the musicians they belong to, I have to look away from their hands. It’s pretty gross 😉 Serves a purpose though.

When it comes to the piano, I’d say short nails are the best. You’ll see them on Regina Spektor, Tori Amos, Joni Mitchell, Kate Bush, Rufus Wainwright and many more. And there is good reason. First of all, long nails go “klickety-klack” on the keys. A mic will easily pic that up. That can be charming though, give it a special authentic feel. Like when you have a real piano and you’ll hear the lifting of the sustain pedal and the “barom” when you let the keys go. Heck, Blink 182 even used the sliding on guitar strings for the recording of “Miss you” as percussion. And I’m coming out of the closet, I love that song. Because of that very production idea and the overall use of other great instruments such as cello. So the klickety-klack is not necessarily a bad thing if you’re not one of those “pure sound” kind of artists. But the nerves. The neeeerves! I am a woman so I know all about the neeerves! Scratch a little at the root of your nails, where your cuticles are. Then scratch a little at your finger tip. Your finger tip is built to be sensitive and feel a lot, but I bet you noticed those roots are even more sensitive. Imagine playing fast or hard and having your nails banging against them sending signals to those nerves. It’s downright unpleasant. If you’ve got the nails, tap your fingers swiftly against a hard surface. See what I mean? Good for showing impatience, not good for concentrating on a good performance.

So I keep mine well below the finger tips. I’m a healthy girl getting my b12 so my nails are strong and grow fast. I know some would kill for that but I’ll say what I always say; “well, what use is it to me?” I’d rather have a healthy hair and nail growth than not though, as it’s an indication of good health in general, so I cut ’em often with a hummm and no complaining here 😉

As I said, nothing life changing in this post, but now you know about pic pinkies and you can try to avoid them. And that’s something, right?!

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here but no further, nail fiend!

The Rose

I remember seeing it when I was little, and just my parents little comments to it. “It’s Janis Joplin, but it’s not Janis. She was into girls partially too, and she didn’t die on stage”.

So my wife (there are four of us, Saga, Almira and Annelie, in the spiritual sense of the word we are so close friends that we are “married”, so there, you have the final explanation and I won’t have to give it you again ;D) Almira gave me The Rose for my birthday. She also gave me “Ladies night- Enrique Iglesias, Ricky Martin and Tom Jones in concert”, perhaps not the more serious part of the present… or it might be brilliant, I shall see 😉

But I remember liking the film, even as a little girl. So I sat down and watched it properly again. And it was a rediscovery for sure! I just remembered snippets but looking at the film as a whole, they made an entirely new impression. OK, so you’re thinking; “Bette Midler, stage alias ‘The divine miss M’ as a rock chick? Come on! Sounds like a comedy” But you have too keep in mind that this was actually her breakthrough. And in 1979, there was still a connection to the rock scene, with Janis Joplin dying only 9 years earlier. I still believe the only reason clean cut synth pop took over was the fact that people started being afraid of dying, and the rock scene with Morrison, Hendrix and Joplin all burning out within only a couple of years from eachother certainly mirrored people’s own mortality.

The only reason the film doesn’t portray Janis Joplin flat out is that Bette felt it was disrespectful and gave her own suggestions to script alterations. And you believe it. Every single second of that self destructive, made up Mary Rose Foster’s life. The love for the musicians, the tour culture of the 70’s, the “tour family” vibe. Rose’s own struggles, desire to perform, kicking habits, hair waving, husky voice, the stage moves, the backstage moves, the defiance, the hairy armpits, the glitter, the glam, the non-glam, the alcohol, the piles of money, the giant handbag with everything in it,  and ultimately, that shoot-up. While Oliver Stone didn’t excactly create a character you’d sympathize with when Jim Morrison fell off his wagon or threw his tantrums (and according to band mates, while Jim always was a little crazy, he wasn’t quite the sociopath the film portrayed. No one really can be, bar a few exceptions in this world. He was human) you can see everything leading up to her self-destructive path. You even go “heck, I’d do it too, right there, if all that happened to me”. Director Mark Rydell (and Bette) really did a good job, there.

The last heart wrenching scenes sees the co-actors spontaniously applauding performances (not scripted), they just couldn’t help themselves. And my tears just start running. It’s amazing to see The Rose and discover it again after all these years. A must-see if you’re a musician and into the 70’s rock scene or just interested in digging there for inspiration!

Two piano playing thumbs up!

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